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After days of ballot counting, the state of Washington officially declared the passage of Referendum 71 by a slim margin of 52% to 48%. This marks a huge defeat for all those who support traditional marriage.

Given the politics of the state of Washington and the fact that our side was down 17% in polling going in to an election day this shows the powerful effect of traditional marriage supporters (people like you) making this a close election vote after it was predicted to be a landslide.

Referendum 71 puts into effect Senate Bill 5688, legalizing same-sex domestic partnership that provide homosexual couples with all the rights and privileges of legal marriage. From this legislation, homosexual activists are only a few small steps away from fully legalizing same-sex marriage.

This loss in Washington should be a call of warning to anyone who believes in the importance of traditional marriage between one man and one woman. We cannot be casual, dismissive or supportive of same-sex domestic partner benefit bills and must fight them with the same dedication we have used in combating same-sex marriage. Domestic partnership rights are a very real threat to marriage and cannot be ignored.

As Randy Thomasson of SaveAmerice.com explains, “The reality is, to fully protect marriage in the law, you must protect marriage licenses, marriage rights, and all legal aspects of marriage. Protecting only marriage licenses, but not marriage rights and marriage benefits, results in man-woman marriages that are devoid of any special or unique legal status. Children need to be raised in a society that respects the exclusive institution of marriage between a man and a woman, with full legal protection of this special relationship.”

Therefore we need to be better prepared to fight domestic partnership benefits wherever they turn up: businesses, school systems, municipalities, or states. If we do not defeat this legislation at every turn, we will slowly hand the definition of marriage to those who would rob it of all meaning.

Referendum 71 does mark a defeat for marriage. But if we learn to be more diligent because of it, it can also signal a renewal in the fight to defend our children and our families.

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